Knight Blog

The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Arts Challenge winners announced

Nov. 30, 2009, 9 a.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

knightartsToday, the Knight Foundation announced the second-year winners of its Knight Arts Challenge, a five-year, $40 million initiative to strengthen the South Florida arts community. This year, $3.7 million in matching grants will go to organizations around the region for a wide variety of arts-related programs.

Winning projects this year include:

  • Bringing back a live orchestra for the Miami City Ballet's 2010-2013 seasons.
  • Creating an arts incubator in the Wynwood Arts District, allowing nonprofit arts programs to collaborate and share resources.
  • Building new spaces for the arts at existing institutions such as the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and the Wolfsonian.
  • Launching an e-commerce site for locally-produced music and funding new community programming at Sweat Records, an independent music store in Little Haiti.
  • Cultivating a new audience for opera with a 2,200-ticket giveaway.

Knight President and CEO Alberto Ibarügen said, "When art hits home, it needs no explanation. Art can move the individual and, when it's a shared experience, can make the whole community better than it was, together."


The 20 winners were chosen out of a slate of more than 1,500 applications.

You can read more about the contest - including the full list of winning projects - in the press release. For more information on the Knight Arts Challenge, check out

Preserve and Create Journalism

Nov. 25, 2009, 12:32 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Marly Falcon, Knight Foundation contributing blogger: Peter M. Shane, Executive Director of the Knight Commission, gave a talk on the Knight Commission and its work on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy, which was organized to recommend policy reforms and other public initiatives to help American communities better meet their information needs.

Here is a sample of what he had to say:

'Journalistic institutions do not need saving so much as they need creating. The 2007 Newspaper Association of America of daily newspapers in the United States was 1,422. At the same time, there are 3,248 counties, encompassing over 19,000 incorporated places and over 30,000 'minor civil divisions' having legal status, such as towns and villages. It follows that hundreds, if not thousands of American communities receive only scant journalistic attention on a daily basis, and many have none. Even accounting for community weeklies'a 2004 survey identified 6,704 such papers nationwide'it is likely that many American communities get no attention from print journalism at all.'

'The key thought here is that we need not just to preserve journalism where it exists; we need to create it where it does not.' This is all the more important because, without some remedial action, there is going to be less and less local news in the years ahead as newspapers cut staff, which seems inevitable as things are going.'

You can read the rest here.

The FTC and Journalism in the Internet Age

Nov. 24, 2009, 11:44 a.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

From Marly Falcon, Knight Foundation contributing blogger:

The Federal Trade Commission released the agenda and speakers for its Dec. 1-2 workshop, 'From Town Criers to Bloggers: How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?'

Up for discussion: how news economics are playing out on the Internet and in print; the wide variety of new business and non-profit models for journalism online; behavioral and other targeted online advertising, online news aggregators, and bloggers; and the variety of governmental policies ' including antitrust, copyright, and tax policy.

Panelists at the workshop will include leaders from Google, Yahoo!, The Wall Street Journal, The Huffington Post and News Corp. Eric Newton, VP of Journalism Program at the Knight Foundation, will also join the workshop. For more, visit the FTC 'Web site.

How he got found

Nov. 23, 2009, 2:21 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Photo of Wired writer Evan Ratliff courtesy of oxmour on Flickr.

The November issue of Wired Magazine contains a fascinating narrative account of how writer Evan Ratliff disappeared and created a new identity for himself, and how Knight grantee Jeff Reifman and a community of dogged Web pursuers found him, using Knight-funded software. (Previously on KnightBlog.)

Ratliff's evasion was nothing if not thorough:

I began my planning months in advance. I let my hair and beard grow out, got a motorcycle license, and siphoned off extra cash whenever I visited an ATM, storing it in a hollowed-out book. One day over lunch, a friend from Google suggested software to hide my Internet address ' 'but all of these things can be broken,' he warned ' and how best to employ prepaid phones. I learned how to use Visa and American Express gift cards, bought with cash, to make untraceable purchases online. I installed software to mask my Web searches and generated a small notebook's worth of fake email addresses.


I shared my plans with no one, not my girlfriend, not my parents, not my closest friends. Nobody knew the route I was taking out of town, where I was going, or my new name. Not even a hint. If I got caught, it would be by my own mistakes.

But when he opened an account for his new identity on Facebook, it was the beginning of his undoing:

On August 24, a former Microsoft group program manager in Seattle named Jeff Reifman read about the hunt in Wired. Reifman, self-employed these days, had recently launched a series of grant-funded Facebook applications to study the engagement of young people with the news. From a technical standpoint, the contest seemed intriguing.


On August 27, working on a desktop in his living room, he created Vanish Team, a Facebook app dedicated to information and discussion about Ratliff. He announced it on Twitter, and people began clicking over to check it out.

Read the full story for the details on how Reifman's efforts sealed Ratliff's fate.


In other news about Newscloud - the application Reifman modified to locate the Wired writer - University of Minnesota researcher Christine Greenhow has published the results of her study showing how this Facebook app increased engagement with the news among a group of 16-to-25-year-olds. Listen to Greenhow discuss that study on American Public Media's Future Tense.

Media Economics in the Digital Age

Nov. 23, 2009, 1 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

A new report takes on the question of the winners and losers in media economics during the dawn of the digital age.

The study, 'The News Landscape in 2014: Transformed or Diminished? Formulating a Game Plan for Survival in the Digital Age,' is co-authored by Penelope Muse Abernathy, UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication Knight Chair in Digital Media Economics and Journalism, and Richard Foster, Senior Faculty Fellow with Yale University's School of Management.

Just one chart from the work, below, calculates total shareholder return, taking into account share price and dividends. Traditional news companies, those falling lowest, are companies like Tribune or The New York Times. Conglomerates would be companies like AOL Time Warner. Niche providers are companies like McGraw Hill.


To sustain itself in the digital age, the report says, companies must 1. Shed legacy costs as quickly as possible; 2. re-create community online in an attempt to regain pricing leverage, and 3. build new online advertising revenue streams to replace the loss of traditional print categories.

Stats on Philanthropy

Nov. 20, 2009, 4:53 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

From Marly Falcon, Knight Foundation contributing blogger:

The Giving USA Foundation, which publishes data and trends about charitable giving, released its annual report on philanthropy for 2008. The report shows that in 2008, contributions of $307.65 billion were given. Only 14 percent of the contributions were from foundations, which totaled to $41.21 billion.

See the chart below for the complete breakdown of charitable giving in the U.S. during 2008.


The preceding graph is from the GivingUSA Foundation's 2009 annual report: Giving USA 2009 The Annual Report for Philanthropy for year 2008, released this year.


Legal Resources for Online Journalists

Nov. 19, 2009, 5:41 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Jose Zamora is a Journalism Program Associate at Knight Foundation

2007 Knight News Challenge winner, Citizen Media Law Project, announced today the public launch of its Online Media Legal Network (OMLN), a new pro bono initiative that connects lawyers and law school clinics from across the country with online journalists and digital media creators who need legal help.

OMLN is accepting applications for legal assistance from online publishers and media creators who meet the network's criteria of viability, adherence to journalistic standards, innovation, independence, original reporting, and public interest. For details on these criteria, see the OMLN FAQ.

You can also read a post about the new network at the Nieman Journalism Lab.

Inter American Press Association Resolution

Nov. 19, 2009, 4:09 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

From Marly Falcon, Knight Foundation contributing blogger:

The World Press Freedom Committee points out that only 21 percent of the world's people live in countries with a fully free press.

Cuba is on the list of countries without a free press. The Cuban government has restrained press freedom, the right to free expression of ideas and citizens' access to information without government censorship, according to the Inter American Press Association's report from the Resolution of the 65th General Assembly.

There have been at least 102 cases of repression against independent journalists reported throughout the country since April.' The number of journalists in Cuban jails increased to 27 with sentences ranging from one to 28 years. Several of the imprisoned journalists are suffering from serious health problems, but the government refuses to allow a special release for those prisoners.

There is currently a growing movement of bloggers going against state control on information and use of the Internet, which is still restricted for the Cuban people.

About 30 personal blogs with information about the situation in Cuba are being produced. However, almost none can be viewed from Cuba because of increased government surveillance and the blocking of those pages. The content is updated by collaborators in the United States, Latin America, and Europe.

It's been reported that the government is attacking independent journalists and bloggers. On Nov. 6, police captured and beat blogger Yoani Sanchez and other independent bloggers in the street while they were trying to attend a peaceful demonstration in Havana.

The IAPA, according to the General Assembly report, demands the unconditional release of jailed journalists and government respect for the work of independent journalists.

It demands the suspension of repression against independent bloggers.

It condemns the intensification of government control of the Internet and the deliberate blocking of Web sites that disseminate information and ideas that do not conform to the line of the government media.

It condemns the recent detention and violent beating by officers of Yoani Sanchez and a group of independent bloggers.

Let it be known that these occurrences are not just happening in Cuba. Impunity is a worldwide issue. Click here to learn more.

Funding, then following up

Nov. 19, 2009, 2:53 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

In 2000, Knight Foundation began investing $19 million towards revitalizing Overtown, a once-vibrant area in Miami that had been hit hard in recent decades. Seven years later, the Foundation took an unusual step. As well as conducting its own grant impact assessments, Knight hired a reporter to investigate how the Foundation's investments performed and produce a public report, without pulling any punches.

The resulting report by Andre Oliver is a sobering picture of the challenges met in trying to transform the community. And the report itself is still making an impact. Most recently, a column in the Miami Herald this week about the continued setbacks in Overtown cited the report in its analysis:

In 2000, the Miami-based Knight Foundation made a major effort to transform Overtown with a $19 million commitment to 32 national and community organizations.


Two years ago, the foundation published an analysis of its effort, showing mixed results.

Among the main obstacles, according to the report: a lack of a common vision in the community and a void in community leadership and collaboration.

"The role of the city and the county in Overtown's development remains critical, but has been challenging,'' the report stated.

The Overtown report is part of a series of reporter's analyses funded by Knight. Each of them encapsulates valuable lessons about how our grants play out in the communities they affect. And they offer a candid picture of both our setbacks and our successes. If you want to get a sense of what Knight considers when making a grant, this might be a good place to start.


The work of changing perceptions

Nov. 19, 2009, 11:37 a.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Cross-posted from the Soul of the Community blog.

Meredith Hector, Knight's program director in Bradenton, wrote an op-ed about the Soul of the Community study that was published in the Bradenton Herald this morning. Here's a taste:

Soul of the Community is a study of perceptions. Unlike the latest unemployment figures, we can change what people think and how they feel. That is why we can be experiencing one of the worst economic declines in recent memory, and still have a large percentage of residents who love where they live.


The economy is bad everywhere. Folks don't appear to be blaming their financial troubles on where they live. Instead, there are other community features that drive people's perception that the Bradenton area is a place they enjoy and recommend to others.

Luckily for us, these features also happen to be ones we can influence.

Two key features are perceived as community strengths in Bradenton: our social offerings (fun places to gather and meet people) and our aesthetics (the region's physical beauty and green spaces).

But a third feature, openness ' or how welcoming a place is perceived to be for different demographic groups ' merits extra attention and work.

You can read the rest at Then come back and give us your thoughts.


A look behind the scenes at News21

Nov. 18, 2009, 7:45 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

This month's Carnegie Reporter magazine contains an in-depth feature about the News21 Initiative, a Knight-Carnegie collaboration we've written about before. From the story:

From the start, the News21 fellows have faced two daunting challenges: to come up with stories of national importance and to tell them in ways that break the mold of traditional news media. The deans regarded innovation and invention as the higher priority. 'The experimental was the most important side of this. Otherwise, it was just a really rich, pleasant internship program,' said Alex S. Jones, the Shorenstein Center director. Geoffrey Cowan, former dean of the Annenberg School at the University of Southern California, said he envisioned News21 as the journalism school equivalent of an engineering school laboratory, only this one 'would be about inventing what journalistic storytelling could be like.'


Former Berkeley journalism school dean Orville Schell, another of the original deans, had a practical objective in mind, too. He was dismayed at the paucity of openings in the broadcast news business'a particular strength of Berkeley's'and believed News21 could help fill that void. 'I'd been sitting at too many meetings where people lamented that the serious media were melting away before their eyes,' said Schell, now Arthur Ross Director of the Asia Society's Center on U.S.-China Relations. 'There were big gaps in the journalistic food chain, like a salmonrun with no salmon ladders.' [...]

In the tradition of Knight's Eric Newton, who puckishly told a News21 gathering in 2008 that their task was 'to think about new forms of a totally new technological era, and create some innovations that will help keep the human race from destroying itself. No pressure,' Callahan told the fellows that they 'really need to dream.'

'If what you accomplish at the end of the summer is having produced fantastic stories that are really interesting and really important and really matter and have never been told before and you get them published in the Washington Post or The New York Times or the Los Angeles Times'if that's what we accomplish this summer, we fail. We fail miserably,' he said. 'News21 needs to go far beyond that.'

You can read the rest of the story in this PDF, and go to the News21 site.


Loving Bradenton: Our prosperity may depend on it

Nov. 18, 2009, 4:32 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

The following article was published in The Bradenton Herald on November 18th.

By MEREDITH HECTOR - Special to the Herald

This community, which has suffered the recession's sucker punch, received some great news earlier this fall: According to the 2009 Soul of the Community study, Bradenton residents are the most emotionally attached to their community of all 26 surveyed.

There's more: The results are particularly important because the Gallup study, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, indicates a relationship between residents' emotional connection to where they live and local economic growth.

The results are exciting and create opportunities. But what do we do with this information?

Fortunately, Soul of the Community points to specific areas residents can impact in order to improve people's passion and loyalty for Bradenton - and, hopefully, our area's economic vitality.

Soul of the Community is a study of perceptions. Unlike the latest unemployment figures, we can change what people think and how they feel. That is why we can be experiencing one of the worst economic declines in recent memory, and still have a large percentage of residents who love where they live.

The economy is bad everywhere. Folks don't appear to be blaming their financial troubles on where they live. Instead, there are other community features that drive people's perception that the Bradenton area is a place they enjoy and recommend to others.

Luckily for us, these features also happen to be ones we can influence.

Two key features are perceived as community strengths in Bradenton: our social offerings (fun places to gather and meet people) and our aesthetics (the region's physical beauty and green spaces).

But a third feature, openness - or how welcoming a place is perceived to be for different demographic groups - merits extra attention and work.

A whopping 60 percent of all residents surveyed, regardless of their own demographic group, give this area high marks for perceived welcomeness to seniors. But perceived welcomeness to other groups is dramatically lower: families with young children, 23 percent; immigrants, 21 percent; racial and ethnic minorities, 18 percent.

And young talented college graduates, who could be the key to Bradenton's economic future? Only 7 percent of residents thought Bradenton was welcoming to them.

Dr. Katherine Loflin, Gallup's lead consultant on the project, points out that these openness questions were asked of everyone surveyed. That's important because it shows the pervasiveness and agreement of perceptions of welcomeness (or not) to certain groups.

On Oct. 8, Dr. Loflin kicked off the first in a series of conversations about the Soul of the Community results at the Institute for Public Policy and Leadership at the University of South Florida. She challenged us to take action on these issues.

Clearly we want to maintain resident views of the Bradenton area as a welcoming community to seniors. At the same time, we want to significantly increase our sense (and our reality) that this is a place equally welcoming of other demographics groups.

In January, we're continuing the conversation - and make plans for action - with a second workshop. This time, we'll focus specifically on ways to attract and keep young, talented college graduates.

Our region has a wealth of higher education institutions, collectively enrolling about 16,000 students. These students have the potential to be this region's future workforce - the next generation building the local economy and civic life. But there is also the real possibility that many will choose to take their time and talents elsewhere.

To help ensure Bradenton's survey results and No. 1 ranking aren't a hollow victory, we hope you'll take part in conversations and activities that bring about ways to help increase residents' love for Bradenton. Contact me at hector@knight if you'd like to attend the January workshop. And find out more about the study's results, and add your own thoughts on the Soul of the Community blog, at www.soulof

Meredith Hector, Bradenton program director for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, blogs about Bradenton news and the foundation's work in the region at www.knight

International Center for Journalists turns 25

Nov. 18, 2009, 8:29 a.m., Posted by Michele McLellan and Eric Newton

The International Center for Journalists'celebrated 25 years of advancing quality journalism worldwide -- through the'training of more than 60,000 journalists --' at its'Awards Dinner last week in Washington, DC.


The New York Times' David Rohde spoke of the Taliban's strongholds'in Pakistan and Afghanistan and what this means for U.S. policy.'

Knight International Journalism Award recipient Chouchou Namegabe said sexual violence against women in the Congo is getting worse and called for action.

Founders Award winner Seymour Hersh discussed why it is more important than ever to do investigative reporting.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton congratulated ICFJ on its 25th Anniversary in a video address.

Find out how the world's most promising media projects are taken on by Knight International Journalism Fellows

-- Eric Newton is the Knight Foundation's vice president/journalism program.

Web Foundation launches operations

Nov. 16, 2009, 11:23 a.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Yesterday morning, Sir Tim Berners-Lee sent out a tweet from the speaker's podium at the annual meeting of the Internet Governance Forum announcing the official operational launch of the World Wide Web Foundation.

Funded by a five-year, $5 million grant from the Knight Foundation, the Web Foundation is devoted to advancing the Web to empower people across the world.' In his speech to the IGF, Berners-Lee explains the significance of the organization this way:

We need to think about society, the people who are less privileged, the people who they may be poor, they may be in disconnected rural areas or they may be poor in urban areas. They may be wealthy but they may suffer from disabilities. They may be illiterate and, while connected, they're connected to a Web which is very text-based. So the conclusion -- our conclusion was that we should create a World Wide Web Foundation to think about these things. ...


We look at the Web now as humanity connected. Humanity connected by technology. We want it to empower people, we want it to do the very best for humanity, so ladies and gentlemen ... I present to you the worldwide foundation and I hope that together we can work together and achieve great things.

Along with launching its global operations, the Web Foundation also launched a new Web site at the time of the announcement. There, you'll find more information about the organization's mission, programs, staff and history. You can also view Tim Berners-Lee's entire speech to the IGF here (or read the transcript, beginning on page 13).


New Business Models for News

Nov. 14, 2009, 9:03 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Jose Zamora is a Journalism Program Associate at Knight Foundation Local media is the focus of the journalism conference circuit. Estimates claim $100 billion in local-ad revenue could support local news and information projects, if it could only be successfully tapped. This follows the Knight Commission for the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy recommendation for innovation: its report says journalism does not need saving so much as it needs creating.

So what's an entrepreneur to do? First, you need a business model. Looking for just such a holy grail, the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism created the New Business Models for News Project. The project researched the best practices in the business of online journalism and released four business models that can be used by anyone in any community.

The four business models were presented and discussed last Wednesday at the New Business Models for (Local) News Conference and Hypercamp at CUNY. You can download the models at

Ideas and experiments are springing up weekly. If you are interested in learning more about new business models for news you might also want to take a loot at:

Ideas for Micropayments Journalism Online, LLC.

Village an internet-age business model to transform the traditional community newspaper business.

Printcasting, a new revenue model for "people-powered magazines.",' a new crowd-funding model for paying for investigative reporting.

Minnpost, is a new hybrid non-profit model' that is supported by ads, memberships and foundation support. You can also look at the Voice of San Diego.

Other non-profit experiments include St. Louis Beacon and Gotham Gazette (in NY).

News 21 and the Chauncey Bailey project pioneered public-private experiments in investigative reporting.

Other university-based news models include the investigative reporting projects at Boston University, UC Berkeley, Brandeis and Northeastern.

Other nonprofits that are doing well include Pro Publica in NY, Center for Investigative Reporting in SF, Center for Public Integrity in DC.

These are only a few of the'models that individuals, organizations and universities have been using to figure out a new way to sustain journalism.

If you think none of these projects are the right digital innovations to provide quality news and information to communities, come up with one of your own, and enter the Knight News Challenge at

Knight named Outstanding Foundation of 2009

Nov. 11, 2009, 4:08 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Today, the Greater Wichita chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals gathered in celebration of National Philanthropy Day to honor six individuals or organizations. Knight Foundation was given the award for Outstanding Foundation of the year.

According to the Wichita Eagle, "National Philanthropy Day acknowledges the services provided by the nonprofit community and recognizes the impact that philanthropy has on society." collaboration published

Nov. 10, 2009, 10:36 a.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

Back in July, we told you about the collaboration being explored between the New York Times and Knight News Challenge winner This morning, the fruits of that collaboration appeared in the pages of the Times, where you can read Lindsay Hoshaw's reporting on a garbage patch in the Pacific the size of Texas.

In a post at the blog, founder David Cohn explains how the partnership came to fruition:

My hat is off to the NY Times. They interfaced with Spot.Us as if they were a lean and mean startup. I spent half a day at the Times talking with various decision makers who agreed to entertain the idea further if we drafted a pitch. Once the pitch was approved all we had to do was make it live and let them know. I am still in awe of that experience. It contrasts with everything I've experienced with other larger media organizations and it a testament to why the NY Times is not just the paper of record ' but also leading the charge into the digital future.

In the video at the top of this post, you can view Lindsay Hoshaw's thank you to her funders.


Texas Tribune: Looking for its own brand of news

Nov. 9, 2009, 5:31 p.m., Posted by Michele McLellan and Eric Newton

From Marly Falcon, Knight Foundation contributing blogger:

When the'Fort Hood shootings were reported last week, The Texas Tribune stood back while other publications rushed to the scene. The'New York Times'explained that it wasn't that the incident lacked'interest to the journalists at the new web site.'It'just did not meet the criteria for the kind of news The Tribune wants to cover.

'The Texas Tribune concerns itself with issues on public policy and local state government.''It is a'non-profit, nonpartisan public media organization. Its mission is to'report on issues that other publications may not be concerning themselves with, such as education, immigration, health care, etc.

Currently, The Tribune has raised $3.7 million, including $250,000 from the Knight Foundation.'' Donations'can be made here

It's called Computational Journalism

Nov. 9, 2009, 1:32 p.m., Posted by Michele McLellan and Eric Newton

Never mind the big words. 'Computational journalism' is all about'using modern tools to do'news in the public interest. The 'computation' part refers to the use of computers to create, understand and display the news. Sarah Cohen is a Knight journalism chair focused on this new form of watchdog reporting. The 'computational journalism' initiative is organized by Duke's DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy.

'The center has released a 22-page report. 'Accountability through Algorithm: Developing the Field of Computational Journalism' will go out to 800 opinion leaders, editors, scholars, deans, officials and software developers. Not to mention the journalists who mine today's data for tomorrow's news. The bottom line: Using computers for journalism is not an arcane specialty. It's something all journalists, including nonprofit and citizen journalists, should know how to do.''Comments are welcome at

Chicago Community Trust sponsors 12 local news and information projects

Nov. 6, 2009, 2:40 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

The Chicago Community Trust has announced the next step in the evolution of its Community Information Challenge project. Matching the $250,000 in funding it received from Knight, the CCT will distribute $500,000 to 12 local organizations to transform the news and information landscape in the Chicago region.

According to the official release, the grants fall into five broad categories:

  • Projects designed to improve the flow of information in high-need communities: This includes $45,000 to sponsor a student journalism collaboration between Columbia College and the Chicago Tribune, $35,000 to expand neighborhood coverage on the local site Gapers Block, $45,000 to train high school and college journalists to provide coverage for a new Spanish-language news site,' and $35,000 in training and equipment for citizen journalists - all targeted to underserved areas.

  • Projects designed to strengthen information sharing, learning and unique perspectives by and for specific groups: This includes $30,000 to boost the Chicago-area community of Latino journalists, $60,000 to engage hundreds of young journalists to report on how youth are faring in the current economic climate, and $45,000 to fund a community media workshop to support local community and ethnic media.

  • Projects designed to create and build new business models: This includes $50,000 to support one of the nation's first L3C journalism co-ops and a $30,000 grant for Northwestern University grad students to help two local community news ventures develop sustainable business models.

  • A project designed to support investigative journalism and civic engagement: $60,000 will go to train "reporter monitors" to cover local municipal meetings.

  • Projects designed to improve technology platforms and aggregation of news and information: This includes $35,000 to help the Beachwood Reporter develop its business model and $35,000 to enable Brad Flora to improve and expand his Windy Citizen news aggregator.

'The response to this program demonstrates without a doubt that the Chicago region is loaded with talented people and smart organizations determined to find new ways to serve the public's information needs in these times of enormous change in the media landscape,' said CCT President and CEO Terry Mazany, according to the official release.' 'The Chicago area has become a real laboratory for development of the future for community news and information.'


You can read more at the CCT site, and more local coverage of the announcement from Google News.

Building new economic foundations in Detroit

Nov. 4, 2009, 12:33 p.m., Posted by Knight Foundation

This morning, Knight announced more than $5 million in grants to spur new economic foundations for Detroit by boosting the city's Creative Corridor, increasing job training, and providing digital access to underserved communities.

Here are details on the six grants from the press release:

  • $1.08 million to the Cranbook Educational Community to strengthen Detroit's Creative Corridor by creating a partnership between the Cranbrook Educational Community and the Arts League of Michigan. Together they will host joint exhibits and programming.

  • $1.025 million to the Detroit and Southeast Michigan Fund for Innovative Workforce Solutions to train workers for skilled jobs in the region's health and green sectors by creating a new funder's workforce collaborative, managed by the United Way of Southeastern Michigan.

  • $1.01 million to the College for Creative Studies to help create an art and design campus at the new Taubman Center, a former General Motors design facility.

  • $866,000 to the Detroit Public Library to help meet Detroit's information needs by expanding free Internet access at the Parkman Branch library through a new technology and literacy center.

  • $810,000 to the Detroit Connected Community Initiative to enhance residents' ability to use the power of the Internet to improve their lives by providing high-speed Internet access to two low-income Detroit neighborhoods, Central-Woodward-Northend and Osborn-Northeast.

  • $500,000 to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra to expand and diversify its audiences by launching a community concert series at places of worship, schools and malls.

You can read more about the initiatives in the press release, and in this article from Crain's Detroit Business.